The last 24 hours has put the, sometimes deemed rather ‘old hat’ Curriculum Vitae to the forefront of the press. And so it raises the immediate question – if Andrea Leadsom is challenged on this very question then how commonplace is this activity? And just where do you draw the line when considering ‘selling yourself v. the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’? Is this in fact a very fine line?
With over 16 years experience in the legal recruitment profession, it is fair to say I have reviewed a number of CV’s in my time, and one would hope that when dealing with the legal profession that CV’s are a true representation of their owner – and in most cases this is true however there are a small number of exceptions to the rule……including one person who changed her name after being struck off but kept all other details the same!!
So, how do you walk that fine line to make sure your CV is a true representation of experience and career history but make sure it does the best job of ‘selling you’ to a future employer? Well the first tip, of course, is to ensure your career history is clean and free of numerous moves without genuine reason but I appreciate this is not always achievable and nearly everyone makes at least one job move that, for one reason or another, doesn’t work out. This is normal and expected. But removing jobs, changing job titles, enhancing responsibilities or changing your experience really is of no long-term benefit to anyone.
Just how important is it to tell the truth? In short, very! Your CV is your ‘story’, telling your future employer the clear picture of your background and experience to date. It is the document that they will use to question, probe and understand how you fit into their business. Embellishing the truth will either short term (via direct contact with people that know you within the market) or long term (via your own inability to back up your suggested experience) will eventually come out in the wash.
Your CV is your voice to tell people just how good you are but it must be evidenced and supported by genuine ability…..otherwise the likelihood is that it will damage your credibility rather than enhance it!
If you need some CV advice and tips on how to best sell your experience eNL are specialists within the legal market and happy to offer our advice and support. We can be contacted via our website enllegal.co.uk or on 020 7183 8586/0121 454 1004.
Rebecca Barry - Operations Director, eNL Legal Recruitment